As we reported on the print side this morning, the chances that Howard Dean is nominated to be Health and Human Services Secretary in the aftermath of the Tom Daschle debacle aren't great, but that isn't stopping some for promoting him for the job.
The latest sign-up? Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who backed Dean during Dean's meteoric 2004 run for president and who was on the stage in Des Moines the night Dean went down in the Iowa caucuses and uttered his infamous "scream" heard round the political world.
Huffington Post's Sam Stein and Ryan Grim are reporting today that Harkin thinks Dean's the one. "I think that would be a very good move," Harkin is quoted as saying. "He brings all the background and experience. He's very strong on prevention and wellness, which I'm very strong on. I think he'd make an outstanding secretary of HHS." For a full read of Harkin's thoughts, click HERE
Will President Obama heed Harkin's call? I doubt it. Dean might make a great HHS chief, but he annoyed too many folks inside the beltway during his campaign and as chairman of the Democratic National Committee to be able to sweet talk them now into backing a health care reform package. He may be a veteran of the national political stage, but he's still an outsider to the folks on the Hill.
Here's a thought. If Obama agrees Dean's service to the party makes him deserving of a seat at the White House table, why not hire him for the accountability czar post that Nancy Killifer was on track to fill before she backed out earlier this week.
As everyone in these parts knows, Dean as governor was a real tightwad when it came to spending the public's money. And that job wouldn't require him to be Mr. Nice Guy with the Congress.
-- Sam Hemingway